Amsterdam is a hell of a city. Travelers have been dropping in to party on its bike-friendly backstreets and maze-like canals for eons. Cannabis, molly, gin, absinthe, cocaine, and pretty much every other inebriant you might crave is easily found on the cobbled lanes of the ol’ burg.
What’s often missed in all this revelry is the beer scene. Truth be told, Amsterdam has a deeply cool beer bar culture that goes way back. Cozy wooden paneled pubs, old granite bar tops, and ancient men in corners (reading actual newspapers!) are in abundance. The city also has plenty of tattooed and bearded brewers boiling up serious suds for the masses and the nerds alike. There are uber-hip microbreweries a stone’s throw from old-school cafes with brass tube taps and mustachioed barmen in white shirts and black ties.
On the travel tip, it’s never been cheaper or easier to get to the city. WowAir and Norwegian can get you there for $150 from the east coast pretty much year round these days. So if you do decide to jump on a plane next week, this fall, or even anytime in the next year, let this guide lead the way to new friends, new beers, some great food, and a head full of new (fuzzy) Amsterdam memories. Proost!
PROEFLOKAAL ARENDSNEST, GRACHTENGORDEL-WEST
Arendsnet is an easy place to start your beer-themed journey through the ‘Dam (don’t call it that). The bar is located as centrally as you can possibly get. There’s a super classic interior with wood panels, a big old bar, and two rows of some serious taps. Then there’s the outdoor sidewalk seating. This is where you want to post up. The views of the canal, bridge, and city are pure Amsterdam and precisely what you came all this way for.
Every Monday, Arendsnet holds a Dutch beer tasting from six to seven in the evening. This is a good place to get a sense of what the Dutch do when it comes to beer. There are 50 Dutch beers on tap here, so start slow and talk to the pourers about what you should be drinking. They’re always happy to help you find just the right beer.